While most of Elon’s tweets have focused on SpaceX lately, this morning, he posted a number of interesting replies relating to Tesla’s Full Self Driving progress.
As those who follow Tesla closely will know, FSD was going through a rewrite to restructure the platform to have large portions of the stack be determined by machine learning, rather than structured code.
When asked about the next major FSD leap by Everday Astronaut on Twitter, Musk replied that in 6-10 weeks, a new build will be available in limited public release. Given we’re mid-way through August, that places the timeline as late September, to late October.
As we know from the last earnings call, Musk is running the latest alpha build in his own car. He repeated this promising report that his car can navigate between home and the office with almost zero interventions.
When you hear that, it sounds like Tesla will easily achieve their (revised) timeline of delivering feature complete FSD by the end of the year. What is important to point out is the experience Musk has, is completely dependent on the intersections and obstacles on his route.
There is a chance many other users will have a similar experience, but somewhere like Australia that loves its roundabouts, is likely to take a little longer.
In response to this exact question on roundabout support from Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, Musk replied with the most detail we’ve had on roundabout support to date.
Musk confirmed roundabout support is coming, awesome. Then followed up with more detail, explaining that there’s about a zillion corner cases which could take up to a year to get good at.
While overtaking cars, merging lanes feels pretty smart, you can appreciate the complexity involved in managing something like a dual-lane roundabout with multiple exit points and thousands of opportunities for things to go badly, it’s one of the hardest challenges anyone building level 5 autonomy needs to overcome.
Personally I have at least 4 roundabouts on the way to work and 6 into town, so roundabout support for me personally will need to be there before I’ll be able to achieve a commute without interventions.
As we move closer to Tesla’s driving themselves, something humans often do is to avoid obstacles. There’s plenty of reports of Model 3 owners busting their 20″ rims after hitting potholes which in the most severe cases can render the car undrivable.
For a car to be able to navigate the world successfully on its own, this is something that needs to be dealt with. Thankfully Musk confirmed bumps and potholes are being labeled. This labelled data is then processed by their neural nets and when detected, will ultimately be able to slow down or navigate the car around them.
This is another example of Tesla stretching its legs with the computer vision and machine learning approach to autonomous driving.
In the same thread, Musk also admitted to being ’embarrassingly late’ on adding support for 2FA. The Two-factor authentication (using SMS or app) is in final validation.